Great Smoky Mountains National Park making changes to parking at busy trailheads
Park-goers can expect single-lane road closures through March.
GSMNP, Tenn. (WVLT) - Officials with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park announced Monday that they would be making changes to road-side parking at some of the park’s busiest trailheads.
The changes will come in the form of increased safety measures for parking areas. The move comes after a decade of heavy use for the park’s trails.
“It’s critical that we protect iconic park destinations from the unintended consequences associated with too many people trying to squeeze into the same places at the same time on the same days,” said Superintendent Cassius Cash. “Through this action, we’re helping ensure that people have the opportunity to safely visit in a manner that respects the country’s most visited national park.”
Park-goers can expect single-lane road closures through March at Newfound Gap Road near the Gatlinburg, Alum Cave and Chimney Tops trailheads; Little River Road near Laurel Falls trailhead; Cherokee Orchard Road; and Big Creek and Deep Creek picnic areas.
Officials said they will be adding new parking measures such as boulders, split-rail fencing and wooden bollards.
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